I have been aching to try my hand at some creative usage of basil as my two plants were beginning to overtake the planter they resided in. I got home after work on Friday and decided that it was as good of a time as any to make some basil pesto for the first time ever. We unfortunately don’t have a food processor, so we used our newly purchased blender instead. Turns out that you shouldn’t pour in all the ingredients all at once, especially the olive oil, and particularly if you are halving your recipe. It took a good 20 minutes longer than it should have due to the fact that the ingredients couldn’t reach the blades to be mashed up. So I had to continually scrape everything down until eventually I was able to create a paste. It was delicious and if I were to have used the proper equipment, a cinch to make. I just used my regular sweet basil for the pesto, although you can use a variety of different types to add those different flavors! I only tasted a little portion as I was cleaning up and it was delicious. Perhaps later today I can conjure up a panini to slather my new pesto on.
In addition to my sweet basil, I decided to grow lemon basil for the first time. Man is that stuff fragrant! Your fingers will be left with a gentle fresh lemon aroma by simply brushing your fingers along the tops of the plant. Lemon basil has a very sweet flavor to it. Not overpowering and you still get that basil aftertaste. I knew it would be perfect to throw into salads as a nice citrus surprise amongst my usual mixed greens. Then I had the thought that I could turn it into one of my favorite types of dressings–a vinaigrette. I have been experimenting with creating my own vinaigrette for some time, especially after shopping at a store called Vom Fass which carries unique and unforgettably delicious oils, fruit vinegars, and balsamic vinegars. Making a vinaigrette is actually quite easy so long as you make sure to always include a vinegar base (whether it is balsamic, apple cider, berry vinegar, or even a red or white vinegar) as well as a sweetener (sugar or honey), and olive oil . Here is my version of lemon basil vinaigrette to share with you. Please try it! You won’t regret it!
Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
- Roughly 2 cups of whole lemon basil leaves
- 2 TB honey
- 2 TB raspberry blush balsamic vinegar
- 2 TB orange juice
- 3 TB fresh lemon juice (from bottle or squeezed)
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tbsp salt
- sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper